Soon, Thailand will begin to built a highly intricate funeral structure for the cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The world’s longest-reigning monarch, King Adulyadej passed away in October at the age of 88.
The design of the grand funereal structure is based on an ancient Buddhist cosmological text, the Trai Phum Phra Ruang. Adorned with traditional Buddhist figures including Garduras, angels, and forest creatures, the pyre will rise to more than 165 feet. Four ponds will sit at the four corners of the building and feature model wind turbines from Thai non-governmental organization Chaipattana Foundation. A government committee of artists and officials has assembled to guide the building’s construction in a courtyard in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
In Thai Buddhism, it isn’t uncommon for the cremation of important or wealthy people to be deferred for a year or more, as an act of love and respect. Adulyadej’s funeral pyre isn’t expected to be complete until September 2017, with the cremation ceremony itself not taking place until 2018. Thus far, more than 8,000 people are expected to participate in the elaborately choreographed cremation ceremony.